Alibi V.15 No.14 • April 6-12, 2006

Ready for the Masquerade?

Local fetish event to take place Jan. 20, 2018

Weekly Alibi Fetish Events is creating a wonderland for your hedonistic delight this January. Our Carnal Carnevale party will be held at a secret location within the Duke City, and we'll all be celebrating behind a mask. Dancing, kinky demonstrations, the finest cocktails, sensual exhibitions and so much more await!

feature

The Gambler

The Alibi's Best of Burque 2006

You got to know when to hold 'em,
Know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away
And know when to run.
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done.

Eats and Drinks

Why do we include picks for eats and drinks in our annual Best of Burque? Because we can. And also because without the fantastic food and luscious libational offerings here in the 505, we'd be just as boring as those other cities with no red or green. So read up, keep eating it up, and expect a full-on report for your esculent sensibilities in our annual Reader's Choice Restaurant Poll coming up in the fall. And remember, being in Albuquerque is a lot like being in Valhalla, only with tortillas and horchata.

Life in Burque

So here we are again. It's a new year, folks, and with it comes a new summation from our readers on the best (and in many cases worst) aspects of life in our beloved city. Who do we blame for the failures of our simple metropolis? Who do we cheer for getting things right? And, perhaps most importantly, where should we go for the best knock-down, drag-out night of bowling this side of Santa Fe? (Please tell me it's a place with karaoke.)

Night Life

The sun goes down. The city lights up. We pour out into the night, our day's pay burning holes the size of pint glasses in our pockets. We look for a quiet corner, a little action or a night on the town. A slice of heaven right here on earth or something just a bit naughty. We love the night life. In this year's poll, you spoke up about your favorite Albuquerque haunts--whether you're out for a rollicking night of live local music, after-work cocktails with the girls, a game of pool at the Anodyne or a double feature at the Guild. It's all here. On the off-chance you don't see a category or business you feel deserves some attention, don't feel shy about sending us your suggestions. We work hard so you can play hard, all night long.

Arts

On the face of it, Burque seems like an ordinary, blue-collar, beer-steak-and-potatoes kind of town. Of course, for those who know it well, nothing could be further from the truth. Scratch a couple millimeters beneath its dusty surface, and you'll find a whole wide world of weird.

Consumption

It's the American way. Indeed, many of this year's voters have a predilection for venturing down the florescent aisles of the megachains—which is also the American way. But this is the Best of Burque, folks. So you're going to have to let the giant franchises go. Trust us. They can take care of themselves. Instead, raise your glass and swipe your credit card for the local businesses with unique goods and funky flare. Here's to the stores that have snagged your hearts—and a little something from your pocketbooks.

BOB: Community Pick

Gene Grant--Political Commentator

Best City Political Stinkeroo

The 30-day Session. “We didn't have time" is now officially inexcusable. Thanks for the minimum-wage increase. Idiots.

Best Community Action Group

Is there anyone taking young people into the fray better than the Southwest Organizing Project right now?

Best Use of Local Tax Dollars

Tingley Beach. It's not even the same place anymore.

Best Wasteful Use of Local Tax Dollars

“Retired” government workers who come back with full pay and full retirement.

Best Local Crackpot

Anyone but Don Schrader. Can we start throwing some love on someone, anyone, other than this guy?

BOB: Community Pick

Doug Montoya—Manager/Performer at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre

Best Wine Shop

Trader Joe's. I like the selection. You can get good wine at a cheap price. Two Buck Chuck is my favorite.

Best Downtown Bar

Anodyne. The bartenders are not stingy with the alcohol. It's just a nice environment to hang out. A huge variety of people hang out there.

Best Outdoor Mural

I love the mural on the corner of Tenth Street and Coal. It's an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe and a little girl in a cornfield. I just think it's cool. It's refreshing to be driving around in that area and see it. It's been there for a while.

Best Architectural Gem

The building on the northeast corner of Third Street and Central. I guess they're calling it The Banque. It's beautiful architecture. I'm so pleased they're preserving it. A very attractive building, very classic.

BOB: Community Pick

Stanley Burg--Public School Teacher, Valley High

Best Community Action Group

NMPIRG. They've done a great job canvassing neighborhoods across the city and making people aware of the most important citywide issues, environmentally and politically.

Best Local Crackpot

Don Schrader. He has a show on Channel 27. I have seen him in regular clothes, and he's not such a crackpot. He spices up public awareness and the media.

Best Bowling Alley

Leisure Bowl. Just because you always see a wide variety of folks up there. It caters to all segments of the social and economic ladder.

BOB: Community Pick

Aaron Brown--General Manager of Century Downtown 14

Best Elected City Official

I'll take Brad Winter just so I can be different than everybody else. I think Brad Winter is the most up-front guy on the old City Council. I don't really know the new Council. He takes care of his constituents the best he can and tries to do what's best for Albuquerque.

Best Breakfast

I'd say the Frontier. The year I spent in California was miserable because I couldn't have a Frontier breakfast burrito.

Best Candy Store

Theobroma. It's truly the best chocolate I've ever had anywhere. And I've been everywhere. I lived in San Francisco and had plenty of Ghirardelli, and I think this is better. And I do like it too much.

BOB: Community Pick

Joaquin Falcon--Executive Liason at DW Turner Strategic Communications

Best Use of Local Tax Dollars

I thought the late-night Rapid Ride in the summer was awesome. It provided a big-city service in a small town. I think they should get that going year-round. I used it weekend nights. I live Downtown, but it allowed me to go to Nob Hill, see friends, have a couple drinks and go back Downtown without the use of my car.

Best Breakfast

Sunday brunch at Ambrozia. If you're willing to splurge, it is the best brunch you've ever had. It's just laid-back, mellow, with eclectic choices.

BOB: Community Pick

Jenica Houlberg--Server/Bartender at Brickyard Pizza

Best Coffee

Irysh Mac's is definitely the best coffee in town. We always get it from them on my shifts. We go just before they close. I always get a breve latte with a shot of vanilla. Sometimes I get a raspberry mocha. Keeps me going through the night.

Best Local Microbrew

I like Kelly's. It's inexpensive. I can go there with five dollars and get a couple pints. I like their imperial stout. I like dark beers. It's got to be amber or darker. I haven't had a bad beer there yet.

Best Downtown Bar

Anodyne. It's a cool place. I like that it's pretty dark up there. And they've got pool. Sometimes you have to wait for a pool table, but you can get a couple drinks while you wait. It's a relaxed atmosphere. The Star Wars table is my favorite.

BOB: Community Pick

Matt Orio--Drummer for Ki

Best Venue in Which to Hear Live Music

That would have to be the Launchpad, hands-down.

Best Martini

Well, Martini Grill makes some bad-ass martinis.

Best Karaoke

All karaoke is bad karaoke.

Best Art Gallery

BOB: Staff Pick

Jacqueline Paul--Alibi Intern

Best Wasteful Use of Local Tax Dollars

The Tricentennial Towers. What I like to call “the most expensive way to say, 'Hey, Burque is 300 years old.'” Who needs street repairs and sewer lines when we can have two shiny 65-foot towers?

Best Waitress

Helen at the Great Wall has a knack for knowing every regular's name. And if you order takeout long enough, she just might show up at your wedding toting awesome foreign gifts.

Best Live Theater/Performance Troupe

BOB: Staff Pick

Katie Castro--Alibi Ad Account Executive

Best All-You-Can-Eat

I love Tucano's! I won't lie, I'm the biggest carnivore.

Best Candy Store

Enchantment Chocolates. It's awesome—when you go in there, it's like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

Best Local Band Overall

I love shakin' my booty to Concepto Tambor. They have a really good energy.

Best Use of Local Tax Dollars

The cell phone waiting areas at the airport—genius. It's so efficent, none of this circling business causing traffic. Oh, and it's free.

BOB: Staff Pick

Marisa Demarco—Alibi Staff Writer

Best Poet

I've seen Carlos Contreras perform a lot over the past few years, but at the 2005 National Poetry Slam in Albuquerque, this guy really came into his own. Contreras can slam into silence the rowdiest of crowds.

Best Hairstylist/Barber

Dominic. He's affordable, talented and fun to talk to. He's operating out of Ten O Two Park Avenue. Don't view the mess on my head as an example of his work. I haven't voyaged for consultation with this hair guru in a while.

Best Item You Can Make Out of a Copy of the Alibi

So hard to pick one. There's the standard pirate hat. You could stuff your bra with it. And though it's not a testament to the quality of the writing, you can use your handy Alibi to pack dishes. I do.

BOB: Staff Pick

Frances Cheever, Alibi receptionist

Best Use of Local Tax Dollars

Main Library renovations. It looks like it's going to be worth it.

Best Women's Clothing

Relish—not the sandwich shop. It's a boutique in Nob Hill. They have a good selection, nice jeans.

Best Hairstylist

Leroy Archuleta. He cuts my boyfriend's hair. It's good.

Best Bowling Alley

Lucky 66. It's the only place I've been bowling in Albuquerque, so obviously, it's the best.

BOB: Staff Pick

Daniel Jones, Alibi Graphic Designer

Best Downtown Bar

The Distillery. The upstairs pool hall is nice. It's a good place to run into old friends.

Best Mural

The one by the Sunshine Theatre painted by the mayor's art program because I was part of it. It's a figure, he's kind of emerging. It's a little abstract. I wish I knew the name of the artist, but I don't.

BOB: Staff Pick

Jeff Drew—Alibi Graphic Designer

Best Reason to Leave the House

New Mexico itself. We live in a beautiful state. We should get out and enjoy it more.

Best Use of Water

Showering. You stink-sacks know who you are.

Best Place to Smoke Inside

The Anodyne. And you can play a game of pool while you're at it.

Best Sandwich Downtown

Relish. Let Johnny and Brandon hook you up with their hot roast beef or Cubano.

Best Happy Hour

The one I have on my long commute home after work.

Best Live Theater/Performance Troupe

BOB: Staff Pick

Abi Blueher--Alibi Intern

Best Hairstylist/Barber

I can't imagine going to anyone but Rachel Sanchez at Hair Addiction. A friend, and hair idol, of mine referred me to her, and now I am referring all of my friends to Rachel. She's wonderful.

Best Theatre/Performance Troupe

Tricklock, hands-down. Their productions are great and the ensemble is made of amazing people.

Best Local Band Overall

BOB: Staff Pick

Shani Gallagher—Alibi Account Executive

Best Bowling Alley

Eu-Can Bowl. I like it because the bowling area is nonsmoking, but you can still smoke in the gallery part. It makes everybody happy. It's a good mixture for smokers and nonsmokers. And, of course, they have galactic bowling.

Best Wine Shop

Has to be Quarter's on Wyoming and Montgomery. They have the best prices.

Best Thrift Store

Goodwill in Rio Rancho. They have an awesome selection. They'll work with you on the price. The staff is really friendly, and the place is clean.

Best Place to Buy New Musical Instrument or Gear

BOB: Staff Pick

Teresa Alcala—Alibi Classified Sales Representative

Best Radio Personality

Donnie Chase. I listen to the radio all the time. I think morning shows with him are funny. He's just a funny guy. I like it when he gets together with the husband-and-wife team on The Peak.

Best Bar

Copper Lounge. Because it's where my friends go, and I like how it's laid-back. You sit in a booth and vegetate. It's not that crazy. Most people think it's a dive bar, but it's pretty cool. Nice and clean. Good waitresses.

Best Karaoke Bar

Sneakerz. There's nothing like a bunch of drunken sports guys singing, especially when they break out "Feelings."

Best Venue to Hear Live Music

That's a tie between The District and Ralli's. I like that The District is giving a lot of young bands a chance, whereas the other bars are like, "sorry."

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Vietnam comes to UNM—Well, sort of. Hungry college students won't have to hoof it all the way up East Central every time they get the munchies for boba tea or an order of shrimp spring rolls. A new Vietnamese lunch counter called Green Jasmine has moved into the space at 120 Harvard SE (the one that used to be occupied by Pepperjack Monterey's, and before that, the even more short-lived Salsa Fresca). Green Jasmine offers Vietnamese sandwiches and noodle dishes, as well as a few boba “smoothies” from a large dining room and a pleasant outdoor patio that overlooks the Harvard mall. Great location! The food, on the other hand ... well, it's got some catching up to do. At least, when we went it needed to. For starters, the bulk of the fresh vegetable garnish I got for my pho consisted of shredded iceburg lettuce, supplemented by a sprig of basil and a small clump of mung beans; and there wasn't a single lime to be found on the entire property. The “boba tea” we ordered turned out to be a disturbing layer of mealy, florescent green balls that sat decomposing at the bottom of our ice-packed iced tea glasses. I don't know if they were old or just cheap or what, but it wasn't worth the extra $.75. So, its pricier portions are skimpier and the ingredients just aren't as good as something you'd find after an eight-minute drive up Central to Little Saigon. But that's just it: You don't even need a car to get to this place from campus. Long story short, if you're willing to exchange some quality for convenience, there is definitely no shame in eating there. I think I'll pass for now, though.

Los Equipales

All aboard for drunken fiesta fish

Ahoy, mateys! There’s Corona in them thar fishes! My recent trip to Los Equipales made those fake butter-laden Long John Silver’s lobster bites that I wolfed in the car last week simply pale in comparison. The idea of authentic Mexican seafood has always intrigued me, but until recently, I’ve had no real experience with the good stuff. Gumbo, chowder, the occasional shrimp paella have all passed through my lips, but none of them come close to the hot, rich, totally succulent bowl of soup I enjoyed at 4500 Silver SE.

news

Thin Line

Media Maneuvers—Here's the back story: Knight Ridder, previously the second-largest publishing company in the United States, was recently bought up by McClatchy, a company only a little more than a third the size. To understand what this means for the industry, I called Dennis Herrick, an instructor at UNM's Communication and Journalism Department who used to be a newspaper broker, owned a daily for 12 years and who authored Media Management in the Age of Giants.

Our ER Circus

The greatest show in town

Fancy doing something out of the ordinary this weekend? For a look into how “the other half” lives, park yourself over at the greatest show in town: under the big top at the lovely, luxurious University of New Mexico Hospital emergency room. It will be a show you won't soon forget. Good as any traveling three-ring cable reality show. Blood, guts, poverty, drug addiction, an occasional brawl. As the kids say, “it's sick.”

The Good, the Cheap and the Toxic

Best of Burque snaps a Polaroid of the likes and wants of Duke City citizenry. But before you dive into your fellow Burqueños' tips on deals and desires, take a look at where Albuquerque places on some national lists.

Big Fit City

Albuquerque's in good shape when it comes to physical fitness, according to Men's Health Magazine. For the second straight year, we've made their list of fit U.S. cities, though we dropped three places in 2006 and came in at No. 13 of 25. According to the magazine's report card, our citizens don't watch much TV, and we aren't particularly sedentary.

Chicken Ebola H5N1

Not just over there anymore

I have a small flock of chickens and a wife in the medical field. Naturally, in these uncertain times, that leads to discussion about avian influenza, aka bird flu. My wife recently brought home a copy of the World Health Organization's (WHO) (www.who.int/en) February 2006 “Avian Influenza Fact Sheet.” And the question she also brought home was: What are we going to do with our chickens when the virus reaches North America?

And Counting

Our fascination with counting bodies as a measure of how the war is going in Iraq is macabre. Worse, it is a false measure; a number without context; a point on a scale that signifies something different to every single person who reads it.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Canada—A notorious Ottawa drunk driver was found not criminally responsible on his latest impaired driving charge after invoking the age-old “Shania Twain” defense. According to CBC News, Matt Brownlee was arrested last October after police spotted a pickup truck speeding along a busy street in downtown Ottawa. The 33-year-old man told psychiatrists that he knew the legal repercussions of his actions, but believed that country pop singer Shania Twain was helping him drive. Brownlee pleaded not guilty to four charges, including impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving while disqualified. Last Monday, the judge in the case agreed with Brownlee, drawing on several psychiatric assessments that the man was not criminally responsible for his actions because he suffers from delusions that female celebrities are communicating with him telepathically and controlling his actions. Ten years ago, Brownlee was given a seven-year prison sentence and barred from driving for the rest of his life after he killed an Ottawa woman and her 12-year-old son while driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. Earlier in March, a psychiatrist told the court that Brownlee suffers from psychosis resulting from a brain injury caused by that 1996 car crash.

film

Reel World

I'm Back!--Go on vacation for a week and see what happens? They clean out your desk and replace you with some pompous twit named Maxwell K. Lionidas. Rest assured, based on the groundswell of reader outrage and the ass-kicking I administered to him, Mr. Lionidas will no longer be gracing the pages of the Alibi. You're stuck with me for the long haul, folks. ... Now, if only I could get the stench of patchouli and corduroy jackets out of my office.

Shot in NM

Governor/State Film Office push for more local films

It's no secret that New Mexico has been reaping some impressive benefits from the Hollywood film industry. Currently, there are nine feature films shooting around the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area--from the low-budget horror flick Living Hell to the high-dollar comedy Used Guys with Ben Stiller and Jim Carrey.

Lucky Number Slevin

Cool crime film aims for the funny bone

Crime may not pay, but it almost always looks cool. At least in the movies. Back when James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson were turning the exploits of real-life gangsters into sanitized action tales, crime seemed like the business to be in for hot dames and bullet-riddled action. In the '70s, the Godfather films forever solidified the image of the well-suited Italian Mafioso. In the '80s, Scarface provided generations of rap stars a lifestyle to which they could aspire. It wasn't until the '90s, though, that crime achieved the ultimate in cinematic cool, thanks to the films of Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction). British director Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) briefly added some over-the-top energy to the mixture, but today's crime films are all more or less permanently indebted to Tarantino's nerdy-cool style, blackly comic wit and sheer pop cultural obsession.

Steal This Show

“Thief” on FX

If FOX's groundbreaking action series “24” leaves television with one lasting legacy, it will be the viability of telling short story arcs. Until relatively recently, stories on TV were told in one of two ways: the sitcom method (in which each episode is perfectly encapsulated and bears little relevance to what comes before or after it) and the soap opera method (in which stories evolve ad infinitum with no discernible conclusion). TV has occasionally experimented with the idea of relating season-long narratives (notably in Stephen J. Cannell's '80s series “Wiseguy”), but it took a hit like “24” for networks to take notice. Now every channel is looking for their “24,” their “Prison Break” or their “Lost.”

music

Music to Your Ears

Let the Spring Crawl Countdown Begin—Spring Crawl is set for Saturday, April 29, this year ... less than one month away! Clear your schedule and prepare for 100 music acts (give or take a few), including nationally touring bands Guttermouth, Bullet For My Valentine and Attractive at the Sunshine Theater and Stereotyperider at Launchpad. This is all subject to change, of course. Now, for those of you who are still trying to figure out how to apply for a slot: Er ... you can't. You cannot audition, submit yourselves for review or put a bug in someone's ear about playing any of the Crawls. Sorry. It just doesn't work that way. What does work is playing live gigs Downtown as much as humanly possible, bringing in a good draw (people who come specifically to see you) and being polite, punctual and easy to work with—because it's the venues who decide, not us. See, after working with you guys for the past six months or more, each participating venue submits a “wish list” of bands they'd like to have play their respective rooms during the Crawl. We just do our best to schedule it all smoothly. Make sense? I sure hope so ... now get gigging!

Flyer on the Wall

Revelation recording artists Shook Ones and Sinking Ships perform a monster set with local newbs Outlaw and Excruciation. $5 show starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, at Sol Arts (all-ages, 712 Central SE). (LM)

Four Shillings Short

The thing about Four Shillings Short is that they're so unique, writers who attempt to explain their sound have gone to great lengths to describe them in likewise original ways. Sure, they're amazing folk musicians who travel around the world in a white van stuffed with an array of instruments. Sure, both Aodh “g” Tuama and Christy Martin are talented, well-educated musical entrepreneurs. Their traditional Celtic yet Indian-influenced bluesy American folk is just so undeniably good, and they're obviously far from "short" on anything—where'd "Four Shillings Short" come from?

El Aviador Dro

Monday, April 10, Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: For over 25 years, El Aviador Dro has been a fixture of the synth pop community of Spain and other parts of Latin America. In their native land, they are as important to the scene as groups like Devo and Front 42. But, as with so many non-English speaking, semi-noncommercial bands, Aviador Dro have remained largely unnoticed by the American underground music community and non-Spanish synth poppers alike. That has changed, however, since Omega Point, an electropunk indie label in the United States, released an Aviador Dro compilation that spans the group's entire musical history and also includes a few bonus tracks for those already in the know. The band's earlier work can loosely be compared to Duran Duran and is especially similar to Devo, while their more current material is in-style enough to win the hearts of today's modern synth pop devotees. So don't let the Español scare you, come on out to Burt's for the best synth pop you've never heard.

Two Gallants

with Edith Frost and The Zincs

Sunday, April 9, Launchpad (21-and-over), Free: Like Johnny Cash with throat cancer or Flogging Molly's Dave King on a whiskey binge, Two Gallants' lead singer Adam Stephens belts out dust-covered vignettes over muted guitar and flower-petal-soft symbol crashes. This is the windswept landscape of Two Gallants' “Nothing to You” off of the band's debut release The Throes. Stephens and Tyson Vogel borrow the unmistakable intimacy of Bright Eyes mastermind and Two Gallants' mentor, Conor Oberst, and take it to a murky, half-chaotic place that's uninhabited by most but oddly familiar to many.

Trilobite Debut CD Party

Folk-country with a story to tell

Singer, songwriter, fictionist and former Stanford attendee Mark Ray Lewis grew up the son of a country preacher in Hannibal, Mo. Lewis' family, which included his gospel-adoring mother, Betty Jo Lewis, who released her own 8-track in the '70s, cultivated in him a profound respect and love for music as well as an irrepressible spiritual consciousness.

art

Culture Shock

Surrender to StormFor the third year in a row, the Harwood Art Center will celebrate National Poetry Month (that's this month, comrades) with a collaborative art and poetry exhibit. Surrender to Storm combines Cynthia Fusillo's mixed-media work with complementary poetry by Barbara Rockman for a unique show merging word and vision. The exhibit opens on Saturday, April 8, with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. 242-6367.

Doodles

Draw Off at the Yale Art Center

Drawing doesn't get a lot of respect in the hoity-toity art world. For whatever reason, curators, gallery owners and critics often stereotype it as too simple, too basic, too childish even to merit serious consideration. Aspiring artists might spend much of their time doodling in the margins during boring middle school history classes. After that, though, they're expected to quickly graduate to oils and acrylics. If they use drawing for anything, it should be merely to sketch out ideas to be finalized in other media.

Sucks So Good

Hamlet: The Vampire Slayer at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre

Albuquerque has Hamlet on the brain. An excellent traditional staging of the play is now showing at the Vortex Theatre (see Performance Review, “The Prince of Darkness,” March 30-April 5). Meanwhile, over at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre, the wackjob jokers from the Eat, Drink and Be Larry comedy troupe have masterminded a—how shall I put this?—somewhat less traditional late-night version of Shakespeare's Danish revenge saga.

This Could Be You

Janet Stromberg Hall

The TVI Theater Department is hopping into the local theater scene with both feet. The department's inaugural offering will be This Could Be You, a series of brief one acts by Harold Pinter along with six other shorties from the Humana Festival of short plays at the Louisville Actors' Center. The show is directed by some talented veterans of Albuquerque theater—Susan Erickson, Frank Melcori and Marty Epstein. It runs one weekend only in Janet Stromberg Hall on the main campus. Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. $5. Come on out and see what TVI's theatrical talent has to offer. For more information, call Melcori at 262-4124 or e-mail him at fmelcori@tvi.edu.

Alibi V.15 No.13 • March 30-April 5, 2006

feature

The Stylish Albuquerquean

Be the talk of the town with the Alibi's guide to "hot" spring fashions

Sure, there are those out there who think fashion is something that's reserved only for the vain and the idle rich, but when you take into account the fact that first impressions tend to be based on appearance, who can afford not to care about personal adornment? I mean, most people are just as shallow as you are, anyway.

Our SXSW Rock 'n' Report Winners Sound Off

They won our contest. They went to SXSW. They reported until the breaka-breaka dawn. This is the story of three young women and one enormous music festrival in Texas. Rock on, ladies.

End of An Ear is a small, somewhat hard to find record store in Austin, Texas. It is also home to one of the great memories of our South by Southwest (SXSW) week. After much searching and driving, not to mention a few phone calls, we found the little shop. We milled around the premises for a little while and then headed inside for the main event. We were going to see Phosphorescent perform and it was going to be amazing. We stood about four feet away from frontman Matthew Houck, along with a handful of other people. We took in his soft voice, cracking with guitars, trumpets and percussion that accompanied him. The sound was incredible. Just another day in Austin, Texas, at SXSW.

Fast Heart Mart and Some SXSW Alternatives

There were so many big name acts from all over the world in Austin for SXSW 2006 that the new, young unsigned groups from the little 'ol Southwestern U.S. (for which the festival originated so many years previous) had no chance of being heard.

The Lost Blogs

I had been planning on going to South by Southwest since November 2005. With a quick 500 word essay and the generous folks at the Alibi, I was thrown into a whirlwind of music and V.I.P. access. I was able to talk to bands, take pictures anywhere, and obtain inside information about parties and the underground secrets of SXSW. Let's not forget to mention free magazines, CDs, tickets and other glamorous things.

An Interview with a Patriot

(Well, two Patriots really, but who's counting?)

It's amazing that with over 1,100 bands playing various shows all over Austin during South by Southwest, the Albuquerque crew always seemed to find each other. On my must-see list was the New Mexico Music Showcase and performances by the three Burque bands playing sanctioned showcases: Beirut, A Hawk and a Hacksaw and The Gingerbread Patriots.

NM@SXSW

Alibi staff photographer Wes Naman spent a whole week in Austin, stalking New Mexico bands at the South by Southwest Music Festival with his camera. These are a few of our favorite photos.

film

Reel World

Three For Free--The Cortes Femininos Film Series returns to the Bank of America Theater at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) on Thursday, March 30. Beginning at 7 p.m., a series of Spanish language (English subtitled) short films will be screened. Among the shorts in this outing are “Terrones,” “Las Hijas de Belen/Belen's Daughters” and “Di Algo/Say Something.” Admission is free and open to the public. For more info, log on to www.hccnm.org.

VideoNasty

Free Enterprise: Five Year Mission Extended Edition

Back when I was a kid growing up in Colorado, my favorite time of year was winter. You see, unlike Albuquerque, winter in Pueblo always meant snow--assloads of it. Every morning, my mom would bundle me up in multiple layers of clothing and I would trek across the frozen tundra of my neighborhood to the park, where vast stretches of pristine, untouched powder lay before me. As humongous flakes fell from the sky, blurring my vision, I would stagger around for awhile and finally collapse in a heap, dragging myself forward and muttering, “Ben. ... Ben. ... Dagobah.” And wouldn't you know it, Obi Wan himself would appear to me and impart his Jedi wisdom, saying, “Get your ass home, drink some hot chocolate and watch cartoons, boy; it's freezing out here!”

ATL

Inner-city dramedy mixes historic neorealism with ghetto fabulous culture of today's gangsta lean scene

ATL is, in the truncated argot of both hip-hop performers and airport baggage handlers, slang for Atlanta. Used as the title of this new inner-city dramedy, it is as much an appellative declaration of geographic sympathy as it is an appeal to the streetism inherent in today's dominant youth culture.

Utilizer X2000

Too good to be true?

I've seen a lot of infomercials in my time, for products ranging from exercise equipment to popcorn makers, wrench sets to stereo systems. My level of fascination with these staples of late-night TV largely depends on how much bourbon I've guzzled that evening. Until now, though, I've never actually been tempted to pick up the phone and buy something.

food

Federico’s Mexican Food

Authentic taste served 24-7

No green chile? To a native New Mexican that’s like telling Hugh Hefner there aren’t any boobs or smoking jackets. Still, there are distinct differences between Mexican and New Mexican food, and Federico’s is a south of the border treat that makes a nice change from the usual red or green.

Cooking with Cat Food: It's a Fancy Feast!

Your guide to turning this little-known delicacy into the purr-fect dish

It's sweeping the nation. Cats and chefs across America are getting frisky for cat food—an easy-to-use, inexpensive, yet delicately flavored food. We thought we'd get in on the action, just in time for those spring soirées!

All the News That's Fit to Eat

'Tis the Season for Torta de Huevo—I'm not Catholic, but I was born and raised in New Mexico, which is pretty close. (“I was born here all my life, eh?”) Likewise, I don't observe Lent, but I still get into that whole “no meat on Fridays” thing with a similar religious fervor. Why? The Lenten special. A traditional New Mexico Lenten special is either a fish-based dish, or a plate of torta de huevo (like a small, open-faced omelet or frittata), quelitas (stewed greens), calavacitas (sliced, sautéed zucchini, corn and green chile), fideos (marinated spaghetti noodles) and red chile, served with tortillas. It's only served on Fridays during the season. Then it's gone. See this week's “Chowtown” for suggestions on what's available right now. Of course, if you're observing Lent and you need a break from tradition, do what my drummer and his fiancée do on Fridays ... go out for sushi. Lent ends on April 8, though, so eat it up while you can.

news

The End of the Beginning

A new buyer for Westland Development?

All stories have an end. But for the Atrisco Land Grant, the climax is still building.

Occupying tens of thousands of acres on the southwest cusp of our city, the future of the 300-year-old land grant is intimately tied to the future of Albuquerque.

In 1967, 57,000 acres of this hereditary land was converted into Westland Development, Inc., a for-profit corporation with the goal of planning and leasing the lands to further the economic and social development of Atrisco heirs. In August of last year, Westland announced plans to sell the land to an unnamed buyer, who was later revealed to be ANM Holdings, a Delaware-based company that was incorporated nearly a month after the announcement.

Thin Line

In the Papers: Megachurch Gets Mondo Coverage--Initially, I defended the Albuquerque Journal's coverage of Calvary Chapel's interior bickerings, which grabbed A-section headlines throughout the month of March. A friend complained to me. “Why do I have to see it every single day?” she asked. And I said something to the effect of, “They have lots of members. That's why it's important.”

Shame Game

At the March 20 meeting, Councilor Don Harris' bill establishing an Interim Development Management Area for the core of District 9 passed unanimously. Also passing unanimously was a bill sponsored by Council President Martin Heinrich and Councilor Isaac Benton placing a moratorium on conditional use permits for residential construction in commercial zones in the south Yale/University sports area until the city can prepare interim guidelines for development.

Burque—The New L.A.?

Pink is the new black. Forty is the new 30. And Albuquerque is the new L.A. Not Los Alamos, silly, Los Angeles.

And Counting

Our fascination with counting bodies as a measure of how the war is going in Iraq is macabre. Worse, it is a false measure; a number without context; a point on a scale that signifies something different to every single person who reads it.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: France—Two pioneers of the cryonics movement, which freezes dead bodies for repair and revivification in the future, have been cremated after an unfortunate freezer mishap. Dr. Raymond Martinot became a science celebrity in 1984 when he had his wife Monique, who died from cancer, frozen and stored inside their chateau in France's Loire Valley. Dr. Martinot died of a stroke in 2002 at age 84, and his son followed his orders to inject him with the same anticoagulants and store him alongside his spouse. It was Martinot's belief that scientists would be able to revive him and his wife by the year 2050. Remy Martinot, son of the cryonics researcher, battled for years to keep his parents freezer-bound. Several French courts had ruled that storing bodies in that manner was illegal. Martinot had vowed to appeal. Unfortunately, the freezer storing Mr. and Mrs. Martinot failed, taking the bodies from a constant -65C to -20C. The bodies were cremated in early March.

music

Music to Your Ears

More Music for the Coke-Blowing, Denim-Worshiping Set—The battle of the Thursday night DJ residence rages on! In what looks like a direct challenge to Burt's longtime “Universal” dance night, Blu began its own weekly electro-glam dance night last Thursday, called “Popular.” (Is that positive thinking or a subliminal marketing ploy?) “Popular” DJ Ian (who you know as the sex kitten from Pearl's Dive as well as from occasional stints at the “Universal”) describes his set as “hot, partymonster-style dance music” with some new wave, disco and hip-hop thrown into the mix. Ian lists Goldfrapp, Annie, Ladytron, Princess Superstar and Missy Elliot as some of his favorites. Blu is located in the back of Pulse, at 4100 Central SE. Call 255-3334 for better directions.

Flyer on the Wall

Kev Lee says "party" with a Caribbean accent. Soak in songs from his upcoming project, Genre—Strictly Reggae and a performance by chanteuse Sina Soul (ex-Los Brown Spots and Nosotros). DJ Speed 1 sets it off at 9 p.m. with a mix of reggae, calypso, hip-hop, R&B and more. Saturday, April 1, at Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over). Free. (LM)

Underwater City People

with The Rumfits, Brutally Frank and Marsupious

Friday, March 31, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: OK. Watch the watch. You will go to this punk/rockabilly show. And you will have fun. Why? Because these bands are all about a good time. They will show you one. So when I snap my fingers, you will get your lazy behind out of the house for some revelry and rock.

Old Man Shattered CD Release Party

with Ki

Saturday, April 1, Lobo Theater (all-ages), 6 p.m.; Free: When it comes to making records, Old Man Shattered knows that three's the charm. And with local rockers Ki to support their show, Old Man Shattered is planning a CD release party like no other. For one thing, “It's free,” says David Meyers, vocalist for OMS. “Not just free; it's totally free, and you may get something for free, too.”

Noise Fest

with Spirit Bears, Alchemical Burn, Raven Chacon, Peanut Butter Jones, A Black Lux and Alan George Ledergerber

"A lot of people are afraid of the word 'noise,'" says Ken Cornell, one of Albuquerque's longtime "noisicians." The word so often has a negative association. But for people open to it—folks who can handle dissonance and, usually, a lack of hook or melody—it can be cathartic. "If your eardrums are being pummeled with these tones, if you let yourself go into it, it has something in common with ambience. It floats," Cornell says.

art

Culture Shock

Latin Night—The National Hispanic Cultural Center opens its next big art exhibit this Friday, March 31, with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. The show boasts an exciting range of 20th-century art from 56 Latin American masters, courtesy of Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. Browse through the new exhibit, then head over to the center's auditorium for a performance at 8 p.m. by Albuquerque's own Yjastros of its newest flamenco production, A Nuestro Aire. Admission to the art reception is free. Tickets to the performance are $20 to $30. For more information, go to 246-2261 or visit www.nhccnm.org.

Private Lives

Cell Theatre

The Fusion Theatre Company will dive into its fifth season this weekend with a production of Noel Coward's Private Lives at the Cell Theatre (700 First Street NW). In this comedy, a divorced couple meet in a French hotel with their new spouses, leading to a pair of very messy honeymoons. As always with Fusion productions, expect to be dazzled by some of the most polished theater in town. Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. Runs through April 23. $22 general, $17 students/seniors. Thursdays (excluding opening night) feature a $10 student rush (with valid ID) and $15 actor rush (with professional résumé). To reserve tickets, call 766-9412.

Let Me Entertain You

Sandia Prep Theatre

Edye Allen's Exposé Dance Company will perform its 2006 concert at Sandia Prep Theatre (532 Osuna NE) this Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. Allen's troupe isn't quite like any other dance group in town, presenting accessible, contemporary, multimedia dance shows set to everything from country to jazz to good ol' rock 'n' roll. Come on by and check them out. And if you're a dancer, ask Allen about the dance scholarships she's currently offering. 610-6064, www.dancexpose.org.

Brave New Voices

The Youth Slam Team will bring it on at the National Youth Poetry Slam Festival this month

Here's a tip for ya: Poetry is the next hot commodity out of Albuquerque. If there were a Dow Jones of poetry slam, Albuquerque's stock would be as hot as Microsoft's after Windows 98.

Live a Little

Edmund White's own story

Edmund White has been HIV positive and healthy for 20 years. So far, he is one of the lucky few in whom the virus does not progress, leaving him stranded in the so-called post-AIDS world with a legion of memories and a sense of carpe diem. "In spite of what my doctor says, I have never been able to refuse a second piece of cake," says the portly 65-year-old. "Even when I know it's bad for me."

Alibi V.15 No.12 • March 23-29, 2006

feature

Still Life in Albuquerque

The Alibi's 2006 Photography Contest

I can't tell you how glad I am that we dispensed with categories this year. Who needs 'em, really? I enjoyed the free-for-all, mainly because contestants reveled in it, sending us an astonishing range of images of everything from Mama Nature to graffiti to eggs to smashed cars to drag queens to naked bodies (please send more of the latter next year).

film

Reel World

Civil Cinema—The Spanish Civil War film series at the National Hispanic Cultural Center fires its opening round salvo on Thursday, March 23, with Julio Medem's 1992 drama Vacas. The film will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles. Screening is free and begins at 7 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Auditorium (1701 Fourth Street NW).

Ask the Dust

Depression-era melodrama simply depresses

Occasionally, Hollywood filmmakers are allowed to engage in what is known as a “vanity project.” This is normally a film that an actor, writer or director is desperate to make and has typically spent a very long time developing. The basic rule of thumb is this: If a filmmaker has spent more than 10 years working a project, audiences can reasonably assume it's going to suck. Why? Hard to say. Perhaps it's simply that artists lose their perspective when it comes to a project they've invested so much in.

Tsotsi

South African gangsta drama more cute than cutting edge

The titular character in the Academy Award-winning foreign film Tsotsi is a dead-eyed teenage thug living the hard-knock life in a crumbling Johannesburg ghetto. (“Thug” being the literal translation of the symbolically sobriquetted “Tsotsi.”) Our protagonist is also the leader of a tight-knit gang of friends/cohorts just big enough to encompass all the usual clichés (one guy is big and dumb, one guy is skinny and violent, one guy is smart and wears glasses).

My Crabby Boss

“Deadliest Catch” on Discovery

Whenever I think I hate my job (which, honestly, isn't all that often--maybe during the rare National Lampoon Presents film or the occasional “Skating with Celebrities” results show), my mind drifts toward the pursuit of other occupations. I'm figuring, at this point, the window of opportunity for “astronaut” and “international super spy” has pretty much closed on me. Of course, the other thing that keeps me safely shackled to my desk here at the Alibi is the realization that it could be a hell of a lot worse. I could make my living tarring roofs or filling potholes or--God forbid--writing scripts for “The Simple Life 4.”

music

Music to Your Ears

My, You've Been Busy—Three very different local acts will drop new albums this week, all of them at all-ages release parties scattered throughout town.

Foma CD Release Party

"A rocket's red glare will take me there" --Foma

First of all, let's define our terms here.

Foma: Harmless untruths; a term coined by Kurt Vonnegut in his novel Cat's Cradle; a principle tenet of a fictional religion called Bokonism.

Phobos: 1. The larger moon of Mars, the word literally translates as "fear;" 2. In Greek mythology, Phobos was the personification of fear and horror.

When people can't control what is happening around them, they often succumb to a paranoid obsession with their inability to figure out what lies ahead. There is a stage of the game where we all begin to think in terms of crisis. That's just how we're wired. In a world filled with addiction and control, addiction to control is not uncommon.

The Casualties

For anyone who craves the screaming vocals, airtight beats and reckless energy of genuine punk, The Casualties have got your fix--they've even got it in Spanish and on DVD.

Flyer on the Wall

Cheer up, shortstop. Ellis wants you to come to the Yale Art Center on March 26 for their "Sunday School" open mic night (all-ages). Ellis plays at 10 p.m. (LM)

Dead on Point 5, The Blastamottos, Ten Seconds to Liftoff, Darlington Horns

Friday, March 24, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: There are music fans and there are genre fans. Genre fans listen to the same stuff repeatedly until they finally burn out and cash in their record collections to buy a suit for their new lifestyle job. Tonight is for the music fans. Rather than your tired, typical bill of four bands all playing the same formula metal or garage, these groups have little in common except musical passion.

Your Name In Lights

with Ends In Tragedy (ex-12 Step Rebels), Danny Winn & The Earthlings, Fairshot (ex-Time4Change)

Saturday, March 25, Launchpad (all-ages): So, like I've been muttering all along, the all-ages ban in Albuquerque was nothing but a treacherous rumor. Just smoke and mirrors. An ugly noise. So now what you want to do is celebrate with a rocktastic all-ages blowout. Hey, I'm with you. And I'm here to help.

news

Bursting at the Seams

It's Westside overcrowding at its worst, and one elementary school is smack dab in the middle of a debate between parents and APS about how to cope

It's almost hidden in a maze of desert and sand-colored houses. At 554 90th Street SW, rooted on baked earth and asphalt, sits an unfinished school, 57 portable classrooms and 1,160 kids.

Albuquerque Free of Radio Free Santa Fe

In the sea of contemporary country, classic rock and booty jams that is the Albuquerque airwaves, one station on the dial provided listeners with the hope that things hadn't gone completely to shit. For many people in the Santa Fe-Albuquerque region, KBAC-FM, Radio Free Santa Fe, with their AAA format (adult album alternative), was the only worthy music station on the dial. But recently things have changed, or they have for Albuquerqueans, at least.

Give Peace a Chance

A photo essay

Last week marked the third birthday of the Iraq War. It didn't go unnoticed. All over the country, folks came out in droves to mark the somber occasion—in fact, more than 600 peace actions were planned in all 50 states to call for an end to the Iraq occupation. In Albuquerque, the theme stuck—about 1,000 of us met outside the UNM Bookstore on Saturday, March 18, and made our way down Central, making pit stops in front of Congresswoman Heather Wilson's and Sen. Pete Domenici's offices, ultimately parking ourselves Downtown at Robinson Park.

“Wage Peace, Question Violence”

The UNM Peace Fair helps us ponder the “absence of war”

An announcement that crossed my desk about the upcoming Second Annual UNM Peace Fair set me to thinking again about this very misunderstood notion of “peace.” It could be a symptom of just how far we've strayed as a society from our most fundamental values that the term “peace” has virtually disappeared from the public policy lexicon.

Ask a Mexican!

Dear Readers: Before we move on to your spicy preguntas, a bit of housecleaning. Primeramente, gracias to all the Know Nothings who responded to my 100-word-essay challenge asking them to justify loving legal Mexicans but not the illegal ones; I will publish the best entries on the Mexican’s April Fools’ edición.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—Andy Tierney of Hinckley, Leicestershire, was recently fined about $75 for putting trash in a public trash can. Hinckley and Bosworth Council sent him a letter accusing him of committing “an offense under Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Domestic refuse from your property was dumped into a street litter bin. The fixed penalty is 50 pounds.” According to Tierney, he was walking from his house to his car when his postman handed him two pieces of junk mail. Tierney opened both letters as he strolled, then dumped them in the bin at a lamppost. Council officials traced the homeowner from the address on the envelopes and issued the penalty. “I could have easily chucked those letters on the ground, but I put them in the bin. What has happened is a joke. The council is barmy. I never thought I could be fined for putting rubbish in a bin--that's what they're there for,” Tierney told The Sun newspaper. The council classifies letters as “domestic litter,” which prohibits them from being placed in public street bins. “There's absolutely no way I'm paying up,” Tierney said.

art

Culture Shock

The Lonesome West—A student production of Martin McDonagh's The Lonesome West kicks off this week at UNM's Theatre X. The play tells the violent tale of two feuding brothers and the priest attempting to reconcile them. The Lonesome West is directed by Justyn Vogel. It runs March 23 through March 25 and March 29 through April 1. $10 general, $8 seniors, $7 students. 925-5858, www.unmtickets.com.

The Prince of Darkness

Hamlet at the Vortex Theatre

He's depressed. He's unpredictable. He disrespects his elders. He's fond of weaponry. He always dresses in black. Hamlet sounds like your average unruly delinquent, right?

Death of Fathers

An interview with Paul Ford

These days, Paul Ford can be seen teaching at UNM, directing Shakespeare to middle and high schoolers, in the Vortex's new production of Hamlet, or escaping to the mountains with his camera.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Pearl's Dive is Officially Done—I leave the country for a few weeks and look what happens. Much to the shock of her customers (and employees, a good percentage of whom live in my apartment building), owner Pearl Yeast suddenly closed, and sold, Pearl's Dive (509 Central NW) after hanging on for almost a month with no liquor license. (The license's official owner transferred it to the Carom Club weeks before the new eatery opened, which no doubt had some effect on Pearl's decision.) Word is that the buyer is a real estate speculator with no background in restaurants to speak of—if anything, he'll lease the space to a new restaurant rather than carry on the Pearl's brand. But who knows? Don't expect much activity in the space for the next couple of months. The Dive's last day of operation was Friday, March 10.

New York Style Delicatessen and Café

What are they, chopped livah?

There are a few "sch"-prefixed words that inspire a thought-provoking sort of glee: schmuck, schlitz and, of course, schmaltz. But what in the tap-dancing world is schmaltz? Yummy, gooey gobs of chicken fat used to flavor meat dishes both hot and cold. And with this hand-rendered ingredient being a rarity west of New York, deli owner Chuck Ferry, aka "Chuck the Ownah," may be tapping into an underrated market here in the sweet, spicy Burque.